How long is your home’s to-do list?
Take a moment and think about how many tasks around the house you’ve been putting off. Perhaps a bathroom coated with chipped paint or an outdated carpet has been lurking in the back of your mind. Or, maybe your home requires more serious home renovations like replacing a leaky roof or redeeming some worn down siding.
Whether it’s a major haul or a project you can squeeze into one day and do it yourself, your newfound downtime could be perfect for making some of those updates. Before you set any plans in motion, ask yourself if the project is worth both your time and money. In other words, you shouldn’t make any serious alterations to your home simply for better looks because oftentimes it isn’t guaranteed that your home’s value will increase as a result.
So, which updates are worthwhile? Read on to find out which efforts, from largest to smallest, you can make to improve your home along with some insider tips on being smart with your money.
First, let’s take a look at a couple of bigger renos that are both popular and profitable.
Renovating your kitchen
It’s proven that updated kitchens can yield one of the highest returns on investment amongst all home renos, up to 77%. While you can complete cosmetic updates like painting cabinets, placing new countertops, or installing new appliances for a reasonable price, oftentimes people find that getting those tasks done at the same time through a minor kitchen remodel can be beneficial if and when you plan to sell your house years later.
Building a deck
Depending on your skills, building a deck could be the perfect DIY project to tackle in your downtime. Deck additions can recoup about 67% of the money you spend to build them, so incorporating one into your backyard setup can be valuable and appealing to any future home buyers. However, don’t get in over your head. If you’re uncertain of your construction capabilities, you can shop around for affordable, licensed contractors who have the necessary training to complete the job.
Home additions and even minor kitchen remodels can cost several thousand dollars, and not every homeowner is likely to have that kind of money laying around. One option for financing remodels if you don’t have the cash on hand is to dip into your home’s equity to access money you can use for renovations, a process known as refinancing. Homeowners who are considering a remodel should explore when it’s smart to refinance before kicking off any construction.
Besides refinancing, other options include taking out personal loans. Personal loans are money borrowed from banks that you can pay back in periodic installments until it’s completely paid off. Finally, you can put the cost of home projects on a credit card and follow similar payback methods with interest. Remember that accumulating debt can be detrimental to your financial health, so be sure you’re clearing existing debt before piling more on.
Now for some smaller home improvements…
Research shows that potential homebuyers are turned away by wall-to-wall carpeting for reasons centered around cleanliness and general aesthetic. Throwing away carpet and refurbishing old hardwoods can make the space adaptable to both you and any future inhabitants, while keeping the space updated and easy to maintain. If that alone hasn’t sold you on the idea, it can be a rather simple task that is both low-cost and easy to do in your free time.
Landscaping can go a long way in strengthening a home’s appeal, and it can be cheap to maintain. Simply having healthy plant life and limited weeds or debris can keep your home’s overall look organized; not to mention doing a little yard work can be a great way to keep healthy, both physically and mentally. Small purchases of fresh-grown trees along with a few colorful flower pots and mulch can add some curb appeal to your home.
You don’t need a completely new bathroom to make it look brand new. Cosmetic updates to a bathroom can be valuable in the short and long term. Putting in new subway tile, repainting with a fresh new coat, or switching out the old hardware with new, trendy accents can be a fun task when hanging around the house. Not to mention that the newer the bathroom, the more influential the impact on your home’s value and attractiveness to buyers.
If you have the means, it’s a great idea to use cash to fund home projects so that you don’t have to worry about committing to too much debt. Pay close attention to your expenses throughout the entire task and set a budget ahead of time to ensure that you don’t get in over your head. And remember, saving the necessary amount can take time. That said, keep in mind that you don’t need to complete all tasks at once. Figure out how much each task will cost and prioritize accordingly so your money is well spent.